• ‘Long Strange Trip’ Red Rocks’ Screening Offers Light And Dark Moments From The Grateful Dead’s Past

    first_imgOn Thursday, the new Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip premiered at movie theaters and iconic venues across the country ahead of its official June 2nd release via Amazon Prime. One such screening was at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado—a venue that the iconic original jam band made its debut at in July of 1978. Perhaps appropriate thematically for the film directed by Amir Bar-Lev that was to be premiered, the weather was unpredictable, shifting between clear skies and thunderstorms sporadically across the evening.Listen To The Full Soundtrack For ‘Long Strange Trip,’ Featuring Remastered And Unreleased Grateful DeadBefore the official screening of the film, Great American Taxi performed a number of tunes by the Grateful Dead, with their set being paused temporarily during its middle due to lightning strikes on the horizon. However, the band and the attendees were prepared for the weather and not put off, and those who stayed were treated to a final number that saw over a dozen musicians from Colorado and beyond perform a heartfelt rendition of “Franklin’s Tower” to close out their performance and welcome in the movie (with a background of a double rainbow no less). As for the movie itself, Long Strange Trip is broken into six acts of around forty minutes in length. While by no means comprehensive—the storied history of the Grateful Dead, both of the band and for the country’s culture at large, cannot be limited to a single film (or even multiple films)—the four-hour-long movie does its best at providing a glimpse into the band’s come-up as a social institution from its inception in the Bay Area to the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Woven throughout the movie is the motif of Frankenstein’s monster—an archetype important to Garcia throughout his life following the death of his father when he was a young boy and as a metaphor for the legendary guitarist and the band itself. With that said, the film similarly does not shy away from exploring the darker sides of the Grateful Dead institution, equally acknowledging the life and beauty the project brought forth in addition to some of the more negative and less publicized aspects of the band’s history, specifically in attention to the life and times of Jerry Garcia.Long Strange Trip features multiple interviews across its duration with band members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, who all were credited as executive producers on the film in addition to Martin Scorsese, in addition to interviews with Jerry’s daughter Trixie Garcia, band biographer Dennis McNally, lyricist Robert Hunter, Jerry’s girlfriend and later fiancee Barbara Meier, as well as a number of additional crew members, fans, and more. It walks viewers through the Grateful Dead’s roots as The Warlocks, and how the Acid Tests, Ken Kesey, and Jack Kerouac tied into the inception of the band in the 60’s. From there, the movie zigzags through the evolution of the band’s sound from its beginnings melding the conversational tone of bluegrass with electric instruments onward, in addition to addressing some of the various characters important to the band, including Pigpen McKernan and Brent Mydland, and standout moments, good and bad, during the group’s storied career.As Long Strange Trip unfolds, it begins to take an increasingly and decidedly more somber tone, as we see the Grateful Dead gain immense popularity and the impact this has on the mystical figure that is Jerry Garcia. Following Jerry’s diabetic coma in 1986, a good-humored Garcia states in an interview, “They always love it when I don’t die,” before the film cuts to the band’s stadium return to adoring fans in 1987. This standout moment is heightened by references to the depressing fact that the increasingly isolated and depressed Garcia does not have his own “Grateful Dead”—an outlet that the adored guitarist can find solace, hope, and refuge in. It is tragic yet decidedly important, as Jerry tries to navigate his inherited role as a messiah-like figure to thousands of fans and to the members of his blood and band family, reminding viewers of the humanity of our larger-than-life famous heroes and the pressures we put on them for our own enjoyment. (Notably, at the Red Rocks screening, it was around this time that the skies began to dump torrential rain as some sort cosmic reiteration of this point.)While many of the takeaways from the film may be heavyhearted, the film itself still does a good job of balancing these darker moments with the joyful ones. Laughter frequently abounded across the amphitheater at one-liners, lighthearted anecdotes, and glimpses of the Grateful Dead and its members’ many glorious moments. Long Strange Trip is definitely worth a watch for those who love the band, and even for those who don’t, with the massive and extensive undertaking offering an understanding of how the Grateful Dead became such an important cultural presence that ultimately forged the way for the music we love and continue to love today.last_img read more

  • Men on a mission

    first_imgWhen leaders of the Women’s Student Association at Harvard Business School (HBS) were considering how to better address gender issues on campus, one thing they knew they would need was an effective way to deliver their message.It didn’t take long before the women realized that some of the best potential envoys were right there in front of them: men.Enter the Manbassadors, a program launched earlier this fall to get men on the HBS campus more closely engaged in gender equality and gender dynamics, concerns typically seen as primarily of interest to women.“One of our goals is absolutely to give an outlet to men who are passionate and interested in getting involved,” said WSA Co-President Amanda Burlison, M.B.A. ’14.“But another goal is to make it more approachable by providing peers for people who don’t necessarily know about the topic or feel that they can approach it.”The idea for the program was prompted in part by “W50,” an academic, yearlong celebration of women and their achievements at HBS that culminated in a high-profile summit last April.“I think a lot of men felt it disenfranchised them from conversations about gender, equality, or about work/life balance issues,” said WSA Co-President Alexandra Daum, ’10, M.B.A. ’14. “Basically, the emphasis was so much on women, women, women that men were feeling like, ‘What about us?’”“We had a lot of men asking how they can be involved, but no formal structure” to include them, Burlison added.The association, which is composed of the approximately 750 female students at HBS, has always welcomed men to its events, but historically their participation has been slight, they said.To find suitable candidates, the association charged a female representative in each of the 20 M.B.A. class sections to scout potential manbassadors.“We wanted to make sure we were getting men involved who were genuinely interested in the topic and well-respected on campus,” said Burlison.Now, between 20 and 30 men form a leadership committee that helps plan and execute WSA-sponsored initiatives, such as the annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference in February; networking and social events designed to foster meaningful connections; and some recent curriculum changes to classroom discussions about the expected “cultural norms” for first-year M.B.A. students.Most importantly, the committee spearheads outreach to other men. Within the first month, 200 men signed up to become manbassadors.“It wasn’t just that they wanted to have fun and socialize with women,” said Burlison of those who signed up. “It was that they actually wanted to make productive change and talk about the tough issues which are often uncomfortable for anyone to talk about, but can be specifically uncomfortable for men to talk about.”Michael Poku, M.B.A. ’14, said he joined the program because the group’s mission is a universal one.“Gender equality ought to be important to everyone. Too often gender equality is framed or processed in a way that suggests only women ought to be attuned to the topic, but these issues impact all of us,” he said in an email. “At its core, gender equality is a human rights issue, and in order to effect positive change — from the standpoint of societal advancement and economic development — we all must do our part.”Manuel Jimenez, M.B.A. ’15, said he has long been influenced by his mother and two sisters on issues of gender equality. More recently, his experience working in the tech sector in San Francisco reawakened his awareness of the topic’s ongoing significance and complexity.“I often discuss these issues with my girlfriend, who worked at a male-dominated company for a while. She’s helped me understand some of the more subtle ways women may feel at an environment like that. But that doesn’t mean I always know exactly what to do or how to react to different situations,” Jimenez said in an email. “I joined Manbassadors with the hope to expand my understanding and that of others.”Jimenez and Poku say the program has been received positively.“Men I’ve talked to have overwhelmingly supported the program, I’m happy to report,” said Poku. “A few men who haven’t heard the term manbassador tend to look at you blankly at first, but once I convey the mission and values of the organization, I find that most men want to get on board and participate in some capacity.”Daum said the School administration, particularly Dean Nitin Nohria, have been vocal about their desire to remove the social and institutional barriers that impede women’s development as future leaders. They have also been very receptive to the WSA’s ideas and priorities, including the Manbassador program.“The dean himself, the first thing he said when we met with him is, ‘Can I be a manbassador?’” said Daum.“His influence is definitely being seen throughout our interactions,” said Burlison.“We’re pushing M.B.A. administrators; we’re asking them tough questions; we’re making big requests,” said Daum. And while not every initiative has been embraced, she said, “The decision-makers with whom we’re talking are definitely trying to find a way to make our requests work, or at least give us the next-best option.”While gender-related topics like work/life balance and sexual harassment do come up in the classroom, Burlison and Daum said it’s a less-than-ideal forum for thoughtful and relaxed dialogue.“It’s discussed in class, but I think that setting can often feel intimidating, particularly for men, to talk about gender issues because it’s a 90-person forum and people can tend to feel judged or as if they’re on a stage,” said Daum. “So what the Manbassadors program does is aim to create environments outside of the classroom where men can feel comfortable engaging in that conversation.”Last September, The New York Times published a front-page story about efforts by the HBS administration to address gender disparities on campus. Daum and Burlison said reaction to the piece was largely critical, and it stirred widespread discussion among students, faculty, and administrators about entrenched attitudes, values, and practices.“There was a lot of demand from all genders to talk about what was said in the article and how we feel about what’s actually going on,” said Burlison.To that end, the WSA facilitated a series of intimate lunches with Senior Associate Dean Youngme Moon for groups of about a dozen male and female students to speak frankly about the culture at HBS.One unexpected but positive consequence of the Times story, Burlison and Daum said, was that it sparked considerable interest in the program.“The perception that HBS is a ‘hostile environment’ for women I think had the impact of making it easier for men to say, ‘No, I support women and I support gender issues and this Manbassador program, and I can get behind to prove that article wrong or at least show my resentment toward that image of HBS,’” said Burlison. “We probably had a degree of uplift and, I think, a sense of urgency.”last_img read more

  • Making cities bike friendly for all

    first_img Read Full Story Across the U.S., bicycling rates are on the rise among low-income residents and people of color. But cycling infrastructure in cities, such as dedicated bike lanes, are often lacking in low-income or minority neighborhoods, and riders there a face higher risk of accidents and crashes. A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers insight into what kinds of bike infrastructure residents of such neighborhoods believe would best meet their needs.Led by Anne Lusk, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition, researchers asked more than 200 lower-income, predominantly-minority residents of Boston about what sorts of bike-route surfaces or contexts they perceive as safest from crime and crashes. The study found that residents would prefer networks of wide, stenciled, red-painted bicycle-only lanes along main streets that are well-lit and protected by barriers.“This would help residents get to work affordably, quickly, and safely, and improve public health and quality of life in communities where these benefits are most needed,” Lusk wrote in a Feb. 8, 2019 article in The Conversation.last_img read more

  • Zooming through the grad Schools

    first_img Related ‘Unsteady,’ ‘lucky,’ and ‘overwhelmed’ Q&A on Harvard’s move to online learning With more than a week of online classes behind them, professors at Harvard’s varied graduate and professional Schools generally agree that the move to virtual teaching was challenging but also full of pleasant surprises. For some, it was even a revelation.“There is more participation online,” said Harvard Business School Professor Frances Frei, who co-teaches “Leading Difference” with Francesca Gino to sizable class of 120 students. In a post on LinkedIn, she wrote, “I’m not sure if the technology spurs it or if I was unintentionally stifling it in person, but it was very different. And awesome. And I commit to figuring out how to bring that back to the physical classroom.”The differences went beyond “seeing people in their natural habitat,” with or without their dogs (which “sparked joy,” wrote Frei). Graduate and professional instructors rely more on traditional teaching models and hands-on courses than undergraduate professors do, and are often less likely to embrace an online approach. But after more than a week using the video conference platform Zoom, professors at some of the 12 postgraduate Schools said they were learning new pedagogical approaches.“Hands-on and lab-based courses are perhaps the most difficult to transition online,” Bharat Anand, vice provost for advances in learning, said in an email exchange. “But it’s fair to say that Week 1 has been a real success. Sample responses from the graduate schools after day one were: ‘Today was a real success;’ ‘We’re feeling very optimistic about V-day’ (with V for virtual); and ‘We had a good day — which was our reasonable and not audacious goal.’“To think that close to 100 percent of spring semester faculty have experienced online teaching in some form in the last week is astonishing. And, yes, all faculty and deans now know that Slack and Zoom are products, not just verbs.”Harvard Business School Professor Frances Frei is quick to list the positives that she has experienced. Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photoAt the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, whose experts have been helping make sense of the novel coronavirus since mid-January, the crisis has felt close to home, and the shift to online classes was only a minor hiccup. In general, officials said the response has been upbeat, with some faculty praising the “intimacy” of classes on Zoom.“There is a sense that we benefit from being a public school of health, with our faculty, teaching assistants, and students being able to leverage and incorporate the public health crisis into our remote teaching and learning,” said Todd Datz, managing director of media relations and public affairs.The transition was also relatively smooth at Harvard Medical School (HMS) — not unexpectedly, given its five years of experience with “flipped classrooms,” an online format that lets instructors prepare their course material prior to their in-person classes. Students are expected to read, study, and research in advance, and come to small-group classes prepared. Edward M. Hundert, dean for medical education and the Daniel D. Federman M.D. Professor in Residence of Global Health and Social Medicine and Medical Education, said that adding Zoom to that formula has been a learning experience.“Both students and faculty have been discovering all of its capabilities,” he said in an email. “Breakout groups and chat rooms are still enabling much of the small group, interactive pedagogy for which HMS is known. Some interesting new ideas have been developing, such as sorting small groups by time zone. It has been inspiring to see how students, faculty, and staff have all rallied to step up during this pandemic.”The University’s other medical school, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, has had to redesign some hands-on courses, deferring practical sessions until students can have access to facilities where they can take radiographs and intra-oral photographs and practice oral exam techniques.Samuel Coffin, an instructor in restorative dentistry and biomaterials sciences, has been busy doing individual Zoom and Facetime sessions and small tutorials with students, besides leading a larger virtual class at the Dental School and “Practice of Medicine” at HMS. Coffin is teaching role play to students who can no longer interview real patients in the hospital, and he said it’s all part of a learning process.The other significant change that Coffin made was adjusting his class hours to accommodate his students, who are now spread across the country. To accommodate students living on the West Coast, his 8 a.m. class now starts at 10 a.m.“I’m sure the East Coast students won’t complain if they can sleep in a bit,” he said.“The classes are proceeding as close to normal as one could hope for under the circumstances. We’re all determined to finish the semester,” said Janet Gyatso. Kris Snibbe/Harvard file photoCoffin said the changes are a lesson in themselves. “From this also comes the experience of confronting the unexpected and learning how to overcome a significant obstacle. It may not seem so now, but our students may be stronger for having lived it,” he said in an email.“While we may be doing things differently, we are still facilitating learning and focusing on the same skills. I believe that the silver lining to this dark cloud is that it has made us innovate. Some of these new teaching skills we will continue to utilize when the clouds have cleared.”At Harvard Divinity School, remote classes are going well despite “some internet issues for some people and a couple of awkward moments,” said Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and associate dean for faculty and academic affairs. Despite the School’s best efforts to translate its vibrant spiritual life to bits and bytes — “The classes are proceeding as close to normal as one could hope for under the circumstances. We’re all determined to finish the semester,” Gyatso said — some students feel a little unplugged.“I’ve found the shift to online learning a bit difficult in the way that my focus isn’t what it is in a classroom,” said Odalis Garcia Gorra ’20, a master’s of theological studies candidate. “While my classes are obviously still interesting and the professors are doing the best job under the given circumstances, I do feel a bit disconnected. And sometimes after class I feel more tired than when we had classes in person, which is so strange and I wonder if that just has to do from the very sedentary lives we’re sort of all living at the moment.”School officials are finding ways to bring the community together around worship services, prayer and meditation, and religious and spiritual gatherings via Zoom. Its Office of the Chaplain and Religious and Spiritual Life has created a list of spiritual resources for the community during the pandemic“There has been a collective spirit of good will, enthusiasm, and dedication to finding solutions that will continue the mission of the School in light of the current impacts of the crisis,” said Daniel Hawkins, HDS chief information officer. “In a matter of weeks, the hard work and dedication of faculty and support staff has enabled us to implement a new purely online teaching model for the first time in our history.”“Several students remarked afterward that their classmates seemed less nervous and more prepared while speaking on Zoom than in a large room of 115 students,” said Harvard Law School Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photoAt the Harvard Law School, Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen said she found Zoom “highly compatible with Socratic teaching” and “more personable and less performative than standing at a podium at the front of a large lecture hall.” In an article at Harvard Law Today, Suk Gersen, the John H. Watson Professor of Law, said the platform makes it “easy to call on students” and promote their participation without giving them jitters. “Several students remarked afterward that their classmates seemed less nervous and more prepared while speaking on Zoom than in a large room of 115 students,” she said.For HLS student Eric Winston, virtual classes have worked better than he expected despite some technical difficulties and the lack of personal interaction with classmates. “My professors have tried hard to maintain a classroom experience, and it is beginning to feel somewhat normal,” he said. “My favorite thing on Zoom is being transferred to small ‘breakout rooms;’ it feels like being teleported.”At the Harvard Kennedy School, which held 48 online sessions on democracy, environmental economics, science in government, and other topics over spring break to get a jump on the transition to remote learning, the switch went without major issues, officials said. On the School’s website, Dan Levy, senior lecturer in public policy, said the early sessions aimed to “offer our students an opportunity to learn and continue to be intellectually and emotionally connected with the School” — and students said that was appreciated.“By the end of the week, there was a sense of wanting to know what the new normal is versus the normal changing daily,” said Simon Borumand, who is pursuing a master’s in public policy. “Who you’re around is changing. Your routine is changing. Having faculty say, ‘We’ll meet you wherever you are’ … that really went a long way.”At the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the shift to online learning has prompted — as befits an ed school — teaching innovations that have proven surprisingly meaningful. Within a week, the Teaching and Learning Lab, in partnership with the School’s Information Technology Department, created a panoply of resources to guide faculty in moving online, including a remote teaching hub with detailed guidance on everything from mastering the technology to collaborating with teacher teams to building a welcoming and inclusive online community. Faculty have been experimenting with fresh techniques, such as using music playlists to set the mood as students enter classes, or providing interactive and social time at the beginning and end of classes, sharing Zoom backgrounds, and connecting in ways that feel intimate. With no “front row/back row” dynamic in Zoom learning, faculty say that class participation has been rich, and students are creating their own collaborations.“I have found the transition to online learning and to Zoom very positive on balance.” said Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education “What I most like is the ability to seamlessly integrate instruction and whole-class discussion, breakout room discussions, and the use of the chat facility. I also think it is empowering to students to be on a level playing field with faculty in adjusting to the new technology. They’ve seen me at the beginning of the class asking them for help in finding the breakout button, and I’ve been ending classes asking them for advice on how to make the classes better, which they provided in the chat.”Focusing on preserving and strengthening bonds while working remotely, a group of HGSE deans, faculty, students, and staff have convened Team Connect. The portal has launched a weekly crowd-sourced video series, is sponsoring Ask Me Anything projects across the School, and will host the signature community story-telling series Double Take.In addition, the School has created a rapidly expanding online series as a hub for guidance and strategies on how education leaders, schools, and families can respond to change, build resilience, and learn and thrive at home. HGSE masters’ students have been switching plans and devoting their culminating projects to developing ways to help. In addition, HGSE and Associate Professor Sarah Dryden-Peterson have launched a daily children’s series called Books of Belonging, in which Dryden-Peterson reads titles to give educators and families a way to help children process their feelings and worries. She plans to reach out to other faculty to join her as readers. The series is posting daily on Facebook and YouTube.For the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the physical nature of design work and education — much of which relies on solid, three-dimensional models and prototypes — poses a fundamental challenge amid the virtual transition. Among other considerations, Dean Sarah M. Whiting and faculty are considering how traditional “final review” panels might be translated to a purely digital setting. For now, rather than physically pinning-up printouts of project renderings, professors and students are creating virtual pin-up boards, enabling them to review work on one screen and conduct a Zoom conversation or critique on the other.Despite structural shifts in instruction, many faculty have found the move to online tools such as Zoom and GoToMeeting to be remarkably smooth, if not laden with unanticipated benefits. “Digital teaching has been surprisingly intimate, engaging, and interactive,” said Eric Höweler, associate professor of architecture. “When I lecture in Gund Hall’s Piper Auditorium, I have a class of 70 students, and I have a hard time seeing their facial expressions and don’t always know their names. Now, on Zoom, I can pick up on every smile, smirk, and eye-roll. Plus, I see names at the bottom of their screens, so I’m getting to know their names, which typically doesn’t happen in a lecture course.”A pair of master in design studies candidates even created an assortment of colorful Zoom backgrounds derived from spaces in and around Gund Hall, including several starring Harvard’s famed Remy the Humanities Cat.  How the Socratic method translates onlinecenter_img Officials detail University’s battle plan to combat coronavirus while education continues Law School professor makes a case for Zoom Students reflect on the shift to online classes and unplanned move home last_img read more

  • Local Girl Scouts Hosting ‘Cookies With The Mayor’ Event Today

    first_imgImage by the Girl Scouts of Western New York.JAMESTOWN – Local girl scouts in Jamestown will host a ‘Cookies with the Mayor’ event today to help promote their cookie selling season.Troops from across the area are scheduled to meet with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist at city hall Wednesday at 4 p.m.The event aims to empower girls to create a dialog with elected officials around the benefits of Girl Scouting over delicious Girl Scout cookies.Sundquist will be asked five questions from the group related to activities girls like most about scouting. The troop will also have cookies for the mayor to sample. The Girl Scout Cookie Program, officials say, allows girls to raise funds for the organization, and teaches them leadership skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, communication and business ethics.Last week, over one million packages of cookies arrived in Western New York. To find a seller near you, use the Cookie Finder app or visit GSWNY.org.The cookies will remain on sale until March 31. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Sylvia, Starring Annaleigh Ashford, Matthew Broderick & More, Opens on B’way

    first_img View Comments About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Related Shows Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford is getting her poodle on in the Broadway premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, which opens officially at the Cort Theatre on October 27. To celebrate the Daniel Sullivan-helmed production’s big night, Broadway.com resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of the stellar cast in action.The whole gang is there; in addition to Ashford as the titular pooch, the portrait features fellow Tony winners Matthew Broderick as Greg and Julie White as Kate, as well as Robert Sella as Tom.Hey! Hey hey hey! HEY HEY HEY! (That’s dog-speak for “Broadway.com wishes the cast of Sylvia a happy opening night!”)center_img Sylvia Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2016last_img read more

  • As new providers gain ground, what actions should financial institutions take?

    first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr People choose financial services options that make their lives easier. To a growing number of people, that could mean transferring money to a friend through social media, tracking budgets through an app or taking out a loan through an online lender. That’s changing the way people bank, but is it changing how your financial institution offers and markets your services?New research from Expectations & Experiences, the quarterly consumer trends survey from Fiserv, finds many consumers are comfortable with nontraditional entrants. That’s especially true among younger, urban and high net worth individuals. The Expectations & Experiences: Channels and New Entrants survey conducted by Harris Poll found 16 percent of consumers overall would be comfortable paying bills through a social media company, compared with 35 percent of millennials, 28 percent of urban dwellers and 23 percent of those with more than $1 million in investable assets. continue reading »last_img read more

  • Summer breach season claims Canadian credit union

    first_img continue reading » The $295.5 billion Lévis, Quebec-based Desjardins, Canada’s largest credit union with 7 million members and 46,216 staffers, and one of the world’s largest financial institutions, disclosed an employee-caused breach.In a statement posted on its website, the financial institution said “an ill-intentioned employee” swiped data of 2.9 million members (2.7 million home users; 173,000 businesses and associated contacts). “In light of these events, additional security measures have been put in place to ensure all our members’ personal and financial data remains protected.”According to a CBC report Desjardins referred a suspicious transaction to Laval police in December 2018. In May, police informed Desjardins of the leaking of personal information.  Desjardins said, no compromise of passwords, security questions and personal identification took place.Dan Tuchler, chief marketing officer for SecurityFirst, had a quick reaction: “The bank is saying that credit card numbers, security questions, and so on were not taken. Is this supposed to make it OK?” Tuchler added those with exposed personal information are going to be concerned. “Enterprises, especially banks, need to take both technical steps and human process steps to prevent this type of breach.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • Wild 2020 is shaping up to be a surprisingly normal year for buy-and-hold investors

    first_img “Where would the market be without the $3 trillion government stimulus?” the purists will ask, and the answer is, “In a bad place.” It’s true that Congress, with rare urgency and uncommon consensus, utterly short-circuited a recession with a massive infusion of cash into the economy — and might have modeled effective fiscal activism for future crises in the process.Eight weeks leftWhere does that leave the market now, with eight weeks left in this jarring but in some ways not-so-unusual year? Is it set up for the “normal” November-December tack-on rally?Well, to start with the basics, it remains a bull market, one of the strongest on record if one dates its start to March 23 of this year. After the same number of days since the start, this run is about even with the initial ramp of the bull market that started in August 1982, and behind only the one that launched March 2009, according to SunTrust. Other perfectly respectable, multi-year bull runs faltered or stalled a bit around this number of days since they began, but then resumed their climb. By now, “2020” has become four-digit shorthand for the unprecedented, unsettling and unbelievable. Yet in the markets, from point to point, this year has been surprisingly normal for a buy-and-close-your-eyes investor.After last week’s tension-release rally, the S&P 500 has posted an annualized gain of about 10% for 2020, or 12% or so including dividends, right in line with the historical yearly average.For investors in a traditional balanced portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds, the returns are almost the same – a bit better than the long-term average for this strategy, but not by much.- Advertisement – Now, sure, the path has been wild. Since the year began, the S&P 500 went up 5%, down 35% and then up 60%. Yet market performance is always streaky and exaggerated rather than steady and comfortable.This year some of the cadences have conformed to the “usual” pattern, too. After May, the rally flattened out and grew less stable, in line with seasonal tendencies. September, the worst month of the year through the decades, saw a sharp 10% correction. And September and October together were choppy, in the typical manner of those months in an election year.The hecklers might look at the positive resolution to the drama of this pandemic-and-recession-beset year so far and insist it was all because of the Federal Reserve. And, sure, the Fed did its job in providing liquidity during a panic and pursuing its legal economic mandate of maximizing employment.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – People pass by the exterior of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 4, 2020 in New York.Kena Betancur | AFP | Getty Images Last week’s 7% pop in the S&P 500 is perhaps best seen as a collective mood swing from anxiety to relief to FOMO, or fear of missing out. As hinted here last week, investors ahead of the election had grown scared and cautious enough to create the makings of an upside reversal.Early in the week, the market was positioning as if confident of a “blue wave” ushering in Democratic control of government and major fiscal expansion with higher taxes. Treasury yields and cyclical stocks rose dramatically. After Election Day pointed toward divided government with less chance of an aggressive fiscal agenda, growth stocks and bonds were bought avidly.Yet the rationales were most likely less relevant than the fact that investors simply let go of their fears and downside hedges once the big, looming event passed in a mostly orderly way.As Deutsche Bank strategist Parag Thatte put it, “While various market narratives have ascribed fundamental drivers to the moves across asset classes, in our reading these have been in line with the historical playbook, largely reflecting instead an unwinding of protection that is common around calendar risk events.”Bullish signsThe buying was surely intense enough, with the look of under-invested fund managers and individual investors grasping for exposure to a market before it ran away from them. The S&P 500 logged four straight daily gains of at least 1% for the first time in 38 years. On three separate days more than 80% of NYSE volume was in advancing stocks, a sign of powerful demand for shares.If there’s a concern in the immediate term, it could be that the market has burned a lot of fuel simply to rush toward the upper end of its three-month range. And it’s running a bit hot too. The S&P jumped from just over 3200 to above 3500 in a week. It previously traveled almost the same distance between similar levels over the course of three weeks into the Oct. 12 peak. Some cooling off or choppy churn would be neither surprising nor particularly damaging at this point.Other reassuring tidbits: The S&P 500 notched a record-high weekly close Friday (of relevance to some chart-studying traditionalists); semiconductors made a new high (though are starting again to look a bit stretched); and credit conditions are at their strongest since the Covid collapse. Any of these can reverse, but it’s tough for the market to get into too much trouble unless and until they do.Companies have proven unexpectedly resilient, too, with profits bottoming at a higher level than forecast. John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet, notes that analysts in October boosted S&P 500 profit forecasts for the current quarter by 1.8% so far. This is rare, only the third time since 2011 that estimates have gone up in the first month of a quarter; on average forecasts tend to fall more than 2% over such a span.There’s little doubt that the passage of the election will soon give way to another focal point of worry, whether the Covid-case surge or related prospect of a backsliding economy due to health-related business restrictions.This would test investors’ impressive ability to continue looking ahead to vaccine progress and corporate revival. Yet given Wall Street’s unlikely ability this year to turn extraordinary world events into perfectly normal positive returns, it’s hard to bet too confidently that the market would fail such a test. – Advertisement –last_img read more

  • PREMIUMDiscourse: Brasilia constructed for sovereignty, equal development

    first_imgLog in with your social account Google Linkedin Forgot Password ? Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herecenter_img There are many things a country can do to maintain its sovereignty. For Brazil, it was to build a new capital city in 1960 about 1,000 kilometers northwest of Rio de Janeiro, which had been the capital for centuries. The Jakarta Post’s Apriza Pinandita talked with Brazilian Ambassador to Indonesia Rubem Antonio Correa Barbosa about the country’s experience relocating the capital. Below are excerpts from the interview: Facebook Question: What was the reason behind the move?Answer: Brazil has a long coastline and, historically, most of the population is settled along the shores. It was important that we should occupy the interior of the country — the western part where it was very much uninhabited. The whole idea was that if we could establish a capital in the very center of the country, it could work as a sort of engine to move, demographically, Brazilians toward occu… discourse Brazil Indonesia bilateral-cooperation capital-city-relocationlast_img read more